The Yankees have their first major scare of Spring Training.
Luis Severino has rotator cuff inflammation and is "highly unlikely" to be ready for Opening Day, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said after Tuesday's game. He'll be shut down for two weeks, but Boone said Severino's MRI otherwise was fine. Severino will receive an injection and anti-inflammatories before a throwing program is outlined.
Right-handers Domingo German and Jonathan Loaisiga are the most likely options to fill in for Severino while he's out, Boone said.
The Yankees have a favorable schedule to open the season. They start at home against the Orioles for a three-game set before hosting the Tigers for three and going to Baltimore for three. Things then get tougher when they head to Houston for a three-game series.
Severino, who was scheduled to make his spring debut Tuesday, felt something after throwing a slider during warmup, according to Boone. Severino was warming up around 12:45 p.m. before he stopped. Stephen Tarpley then began warming up for the start.
Last month, Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Yankees. Some wondered why Severino wouldn't try to get a bigger contract, but he took a sizeable chunk of guaranteed money when he could for situations just like this when he may have potential injury issues.
Though he struggled during the second half last season, Severino was a Cy Young favorite earlier in 2018 and has the talent to be a bonafide ace. He went 19-8 last year with 220 strikeouts in 191.1 innings, pitching to a 3.39 ERA (2.95 FIP) and a 1.15 WHIP.
Severino's injury Yankees' rotation depth into focus. Beyond Severino, the Yankees have trade acquisiton James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia. With Sabathia's age and history of knee issues, he likely will miss a few starts throughout the season.
In-house depth options include German, Loaisiga and RHP Luis Cessa.
There are still some notable free agents available if the Yankees want to add insurance. Jon Heyman reports some within the Yankees organization have discussed LHP Gio Gonzalez -- before Severino was scratched. LHP Dallas Keuchel is also still a free agent.